Message from the Chair

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

Hello RSSers!!

It’s hard to believe that the ALA Annual conference is in a little more than a month away. By the time you read this, you probably have already purchased your plane ticket and booked your hotel so now it’s time to plan your conference schedule!

RSS has a number of exciting events scheduled at the conference including the Second Annual Trivia Contest!

Be sure to mark your calendar with the RSS Open House on Saturday, June 29 at 8:30 A.M. in the McCormick Place Convention Center, N226. The Open House includes:

  • A Trivia Contest
  • Opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old friends!
  • Many thanks to EBSCO for the Refreshments!

In addition to the RSS Open House, there are lots of opportunities to discuss hot topics including Arizona Library Services to the Spanish Speaking, Serving the Health Information Needs of Communities, New Reference Services, and more. Through RSS Committees you can also find out the latest in reference research and learn all about Slam the Boards. Read below for more information and see the RUSA for RSS event page for descriptions!

If you can’t make it to ALA, don’t despair! RSS has plans for free webinars, including, “Tried and True and Even Something New: Best Old and New Medical and Health Information Resources.” Stay tuned to RSS-L for more information.

In addition to all of the great happenings from RSS Committees, I would like to say congratulations to the many leaders in our section! This issue of the RSS Review features Cindy Levine as the Member of the Quarter. Read below to learn more about Cindy.

Additionally, the RSS Recognition Committee has selected Larayne Dallas as the RSS Service Achievement Award Winner for 2013. The committee used a number of adjectives to describe Larayne including modest, dedicated, kind, good-humored, and a quiet and effective leader. Be sure to attend the RUSA Awards Reception where we will honor and celebrate Larayne’s quiet but hard-working dedication to the section. Mark your calendars with Sunday June 30th from 5:00-6:30 P.M. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room.

RSS Members are doing lots of great things including quietly leading and serving on committees, publishing pertinent research related to reference and more. To read about what the RSS community is publishing be sure to check out

Finally I would like to take a minute to thank you everyone for making RSS the best section in RUSA. As the RSS Chair, I enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I would like to say a special thank you to Jason Coleman who did a great job of always making me sound eloquent in the minutes. Thank you to all of the chairs for your dedication and enthusiasm in leading your committees. Many thanks to Liane Taylor for making my job a lot easier by organizing timelines, deadlines, and expectations during her term. Finally, a huge welcome to Ann Brown, who will take over as chair in July. I think you will find Ann’s leadership style to be relaxed yet purposeful. I look forward to working with her and continuing the great successes of RSS!

I look forward to continuing the successes of RSS!




RSS Member of the Quarter: Cynthia Levine
Humanities Reference Librarian, Research and Information Services, NCSU Libraries


Describe yourself in 3 words.
Striving for balance.

What do you like to do for fun?
Yoga, cooking, reading, and going to restaurants with friends in ALA conference cities.

Describe RSS in 3 words.
Supportive, smart, friendly.

What do you value most about RSS and/or RUSA?
I’m grateful to both RSS and RUSA for providing a kind of parallel professional life that complements and supports my primary role as a reference librarian at North Carolina State University. It’s been great to be part of these overlapping communities, and to build relationships with librarians across the country. Another benefit has been the ability to experiment with, and practice different kinds of roles, such as leadership and event planning, in a supportive environment. All in all, it’s been a great opportunity to develop skills to bring home, and to share ideas with great friends from other libraries.

Where do you see reference services going in the next 3-5 years?
My hope is that those of us in reference and public services can focus on clarifying and articulating our core values, and use those values as the foundation for moving forward. This should allow us to do what we do best – help people find new ways to connect to the information they need in order to grow, to learn, and to create.

In your own words…
I like to believe that reference librarians can maintain a kind of independence that allows us to be real advocates for our users who seek information – that whenever possible we can help our users overcome barriers – and that in this quest, we can skillfully be on their side.

What makes RSS Great?
“RSS is constantly innovating and adjusting to stay current with the needs of front-line librarians and staff. This includes creating new committees as well as sunsetting old ones and being at the forefront of using conferencing software to share information with its members through webinars and online meetings. Successful libraries live and breathe user-centered design and services. RSS is great because it models this commitment and challenges us all to put users first.”

Jason Coleman, Kansas State University

“When I first started with RSS, I was appointed to a committee. From then on, I made great friends, learned a lot from librarians in all sorts of libraries, and found professional development opportunities not readily available in other parts of ALA. “

Ann Brown, George Washington University

“I appreciate the opportunities for learning from each other as well as to share what I can, and I feel that RSS offers guidance about being involved professionally in the best possible ways. The organization has improved over the last couple of years, too, thanks to the efforts of some great leaders. I love being able to collaborate with academic and public librarians, gaining perspectives I may not otherwise hear.”

Cathay Crosby, Ask a Librarian Delaware Statewide Coordinator

Have a story to share? Let us know what makes RSS Great!